Think your pricing is secret? Think again…
When I bought my house I was considering whether to change the door locks or not. I called the locksmith and he asked me one simple question that froze me in my tracks, “Who has a key to your house right now?”. WOW. As a B2B sales person I thought that is a killer question for a locksmith! Needless to say he made a quick and profitable sale.
The internet has created the same issue for B2B companies that want to keep their pricing a secret. The goal is to force prospective customers to “talk with sales” first. We completely understand the thinking, especially for technology companies that sell complex products and services, but it doesn’t always work well.
The locksmith asked, “Who has a key to your house right now?”. WOW! As a B2B sales person I thought that is a killer question for a locksmith!
The problem is, most prospective customers will go out and search for pricing when they are in the early stages of a project just to “get a feel” for the cost of a potential solution. And, as I’ll show you in part 2, they can easily find it….or someone’s version of it.
So, who is publishing YOUR pricing? Why not ask Google?
This is part 2 of “Who is publishing your pricing”? In part 1, we talked about trying to force a prospective customer to “talk to sales” instead of providing an easy way for them to request a budgetary estimate. The idea that “we must talk with the customer first so we can deliver our value proposition” is great in theory, but doesn’t phase prospective customers. They simply leave your website and go searching.
Since we deal with the “pricing is secret” myth all the time, one of the first things I do when talking with a prospective vendor is to go search for their pricing leaks myself. Here are some of my favorite places to look:
In virtually every press release about a new piece of technology, there is a reference to price. Examples like “The FT4000 starts from $88,000” or “The 20TB model is $33,000”. I understand the need for providing the information, but what if the language simply said “Self-Service Pricing is available on our website”? That way, customers would always need to come to you (and your sales team) for pricing.
Another source for misinformation about pricing is government contracts. Volume discounts for government, education and non-profit customers often shows up on the internet with deeply discounted pricing. Prospective customers will use that as their starting point for their negotiations even though they would not qualify for those discount levels.
Yet another source for misinformation is your competition and the social media channels. You can try to monitor mentions about your company but it’s almost impossible to stop the competition from misrepresenting your pricing. A casual mention in a forum could kill your chances of setting the record straight.
Steps you can take to reduce pricing miscommunication
- Realize that pricing is extremely sticky “content” so treat it carefully
- Stop providing price ranges in press releases
- Do not publish pricing on your website
- Create an easy way for prospective customers to Request a Quote via Email on your website
Follow these simple steps and you will not only increase traffic to your site but you will substantially increase your inbound conversion rate.